The Old Pine Tree
The F word

People like to talk about forgiveness, and how important it is, and how much better it makes you feel. It’s very easy to talk about forgiveness, but there is only one way to learn about it, and that is the hard way. It has taken me years to come to any real conclusion about forgiveness, and what I have learned is not what people always told me (and continue to tell me), or those cheesy quotes (which tend to be quite similar to what people always tell you).

In my opinion there are two kinds of forgiveness. There is the kind that equates to understanding someone’s actions. I believe that there is an element to this kind of forgiveness that is about saying “it’s ok.” It is that aspect that always made forgiveness very difficult for me. How do you forgive someone without believing that what happened was ok? This led me to the second kind of forgiveness, which is simply letting go. You don’t have to give anything to anyone, you don’t have to believe there was some rightness or alright-ness in whatever happened. It’s very personal.

Letting go can be as powerful as saying it’s alright. People always told me to get to a place where it was ok, but sometimes that can feel like you’re doing something for someone else rather than yourself, like giving them a gift. Letting go is a gift to yourself. Once I came to this conclusion, forgiveness became something I could finally wrap my head around.

for·give
verb
to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship). In certain contexts, forgiveness is a legal term for absolving or giving up all claims on account of debt, loan, obligation or other claims. (via Wikipedia)

 

Cooking over a fire

This weekend I spent an evening in Montville with six girlfriends from high school for a friend’s bachelorette party. The camp we were at had a great fire pit made for cooking over. The hosts did such an awesome job planning the menu and cooking up delicious food while keeping it simple. 

It’s nice to be able to gather with a group of women you were close with at 18 and still have such comfort and ease together over a decade later.

This summer there has been a lot of gathering on docks and around camp fires with friends. It is part of what good summers are made of. 

Support your local food co-op

I am a member of the local co-op. In the summer they have deals for members in bulk fruit. These beauties came from a nearby farm. 5 pounds of local blueberries for $22. 

(We also got just under a bushel of peaches for $25, which is about .50c/peach).

There are so many smoothies in my future.

Support your local food co-op

I am a member of the local co-op. In the summer they have deals for members in bulk fruit. These beauties came from a nearby farm. 5 pounds of local blueberries for $22.

(We also got just under a bushel of peaches for $25, which is about .50c/peach).

There are so many smoothies in my future.

A paddle around the harbor 

This week, on a fall-feeling evening, I got to paddle around the harbor. It was fun to see where the land meets the sea from the sea, and to inch up close to the sparkly big boats and the small rusty ones alike. I paddled right up to a cormorant balancing on a buoy and we eyed each other suspiciously. We’ve had some seriously low low-tides this week, and I couldn’t believe how shallow the channel was - a foot at most in some places.

There are so many great vantage points here - from the big Route 1 bridge, to the footbridge, to the harbor walk that cuts right through the heart of a shipyard that services some of the largest boats north of Rhode Island, and of course, floating around the bay like water fowl.  

Happy Friday and Happy weekend. We don’t have these kinds of days and nights for much longer, so indulge in activities that bring you close to the essence of them. 

These Days

I attract wildlife and car repairs.

Fall is coming. It is here already, a little bit. I kind of like it and I hate to admit it. Days that are warm but not hot, dry air, nights that are cool but not cold; doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I call that kind of weather perfection.

I am torn between making time to run and making time to write. I have realized that over the past few years I’ve become unbalanced. My body and my mind need to learn to live in harmony. I need both to feel like myself. After the next marathon (May 2015) I’m going to readjust.

If I ever get a kayak I’m definitely getting a plastic one like this (as opposed to fiberglass) so I can drag it over the beach and not care. I’m definitely not a candidate for a fancy boat, even if I do like how they move in the water.  

I am in a period in my life of perpetual change. I think I have finally become like a salmon swimming upstream, moving through the opposing current naturally, with my head straight up.

I should be pickling but I can’t find the motivation to use up a solid four hour chunk of an evening or a weekend to do it. I’m afraid the ziplocs will only keep things fresh for so long. What will become of my peas (which are still growing like weeds) and beans? The only thing I am keeping on top of is the kale, and that is just because I can put it in smoothies and mix it into pasta (slash everything).

I long for never ending weekends, leggings, sectional couches, music that is new to me but feels familiar, time to reflect, trails that lead to the ocean, places in the woods where cars cannot be heard, reading through piles of books, and homemade soup.

I have been daydreaming about building a small writing retreat. It may be soon time to resurrect those plans.

Here’s to the whimsy of a creative mind, and the seasons that indulge it.

CappedThe last of the dandelion wine is bottled. Now it stays tucked away in a dark spot until the cold and the gloom of early March are too much to bare.

Capped

The last of the dandelion wine is bottled. Now it stays tucked away in a dark spot until the cold and the gloom of early March are too much to bare.

Sundays around here

Walk through the woods, eat the berries, wade in the water, repeat.

I need some winter running advice

I am hoping to run my next marathon in May. That means my training will start right around mid-January, just when we are in the throngs on winter hell here in the Northeast.

I hate running in the cold. I’ve trained in winter before and what I found is that on long runs 15 miles or longer I would warm up, but then I would cool back down and wouldn’t be able to get warm again. Long runs are hard enough without being cold and damp. Not to mention it just isn’t safe to run long that way.

I need some recommendations. How do you stay warm when you run long in the winter? I’m not talking 30 or 40 degree cold. I’m talking 0-20 degree cold. I don’t wear cotton, so I don’t need the reminder. I already layer, so please share advice that is beyond the basics.

Thanks!

Great time at the lake last weekend

Great time at the lake last weekend

Today, from the garden

A mix of peas, two little patty pans, and more beans to add to the soon-to-be-pickled pile.

Today, from the garden

A mix of peas, two little patty pans, and more beans to add to the soon-to-be-pickled pile.

These Days

It has been the coolest summer I can remember (since before those oppressive Boston summers I suffered lived through.). It hasn’t been particularly cold, it just hasn’t been super hot. The middle of the day is hot, but the rest of the time is unreasonably pleasant. Day after day. Cooler temps is the trend this year and summer is the only season where it can be appreciated. We are being spoiled; these ocean breezes and sleep-easy nights.

I am obsessed with iced tea that is just a little bit sweet right now. I generally don’t add sweeteners to my drinks (heck I water down juice), but a little bit of honey or maple syrup in some black or green tea is really satisfying. I can’t get enough.

I have been observing the way my creativity flows and trying to learn from it. Turns out at the end of the day, after work and running and showering and dinner I don’t feel inspired. This is why I don’t write or play music at night. I’m noticing where I do feel inspired: by the river, at a busy cafe (with a seat where I won’t be disturbed), at the library with headphones on. Basically anywhere I can be reflective and retreat into my mind without disruption. In order to create I have to turn the world away. I think this has felt threatening to people in my life in the past. Maybe it is what makes creativity threatening. Now that I am learning about what inspires me, where, and when I can tap into that, I’m hoping to take advantage of it. I’m also trying to be less judgmental of myself and my creativity. Let it flow, right, whatever it may be? At the same time I don’t want to push it.  I wrote a song last summer that I have been working on. I just can’t seem to find the right second verse. Rather than settling on something that is easy but I don’t love, I’m just gonna keep trying until something fits that I can feel good about. What’s the rush?

I wish I could hold August off for a few more days. It looks like a big ol’ 18 wheeler headed my way. Nearly every weekend has something penciled in and there are a million things to do before September comes. I’m well aware of how fast a few weeks can go by. I’m prepared to just hang on for the ride. It’s gonna be what it’s gonna be - these are the words I’ve been living by lately.

My garden is a little behind; my fault for getting things in late. The deer have been a force that I think I’ve finally outdone. Things are coming along nicely now. I’m enjoying the little-at-a-time harvest this year, rather than bushels of food in one picking. It is much easier to manage. Thank goodness for that. and the little things.

I have tomorrow off (Fridays off in the summer are so darn decadent) and I get to spend this weekend with some of my best girl friends from different times in my life coming from various locations around the Northeast. I may not sleep tonight.

Here’s to noticing the kernel of sweetness in everything.

Two days at Acadia

More pictures soon.

Two days at Acadia

More pictures soon.

Three parts simple

When it’s 3pm on a weekday I often want a little something to get me to 5pm. Lately I’ve been grabbing bottles of Honest Tea (I like Lori’s Lemon and Green Dragon Tea with passion fruit). It occurred to me pretty quickly that because I already make sun tea, I should just make my own. So make my own I have.

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What you need:

  • Sun tea (sure, you can brew it, but there’s something so satisfying about letting the sun cook your water). I used black or jasmine green tea.
  • fresh lemon
  • honey

I have also been adding some chaga tea, because I had some brewed. It’s supposed to be good for you and it doesn’t affect the flavor. 

image

I sometimes save my Honest Tea jars because they are glass and a useful size, and I re-use them to tote around my own iced tea (my water bottle is 40oz so that wouldn’t do). I fill the jar with tea, squeeze one fresh lemon slice in it, add about a tablespoon of honey, and shake it up. Sometimes I also add fresh mint leaves or lemon balm. 

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I received maple syrup and honey as a bridal shower favor this weekend and a friend said she puts it in her iced tea. I tried it and it was great. Try maple syrup some time instead of honey.

Today, by the sea
The feeling that I am lucky never goes away here.

Today, by the sea

The feeling that I am lucky never goes away here.

Natural SPFs
I came across the image above on the free people blog. At the bottom of the post they have a recipe for a homemade sunscreen.
This whole natural sunscreen thing is kind of mind-blowing to me. This morning I put some coconut oil on my legs because they felt a little dry and turns out I’m also getting sunscreen protection. Pretty awesome.

Natural SPFs

I came across the image above on the free people blog. At the bottom of the post they have a recipe for a homemade sunscreen.

This whole natural sunscreen thing is kind of mind-blowing to me. This morning I put some coconut oil on my legs because they felt a little dry and turns out I’m also getting sunscreen protection. Pretty awesome.